After a funeral or memorial service is over, family members are often overwhelmed with the thought of ‘What happens now?’

It can feel like there is too much to deal with, and difficult to know where to start.

In the early days after the loss of a loved one, it is important to take care of yourself first. There will be paperwork to be completed and many decisions to be made, so you should not feel pressured or rushed at this time.

You do not have to do everything straight away. Whenever possible, take time for ‘self-care’. Making sure you take care of your diet and having regular exercise can assist you to re-establish a routine.  Other activities such as reading, meditating, consulting a grief counsellor, simply resting quietly or engaging in any activity that gives you some pleasure will also help to bring some ‘normality’ back into your life.

In those times, you may want to consider one or two people who would be willing to help you deal with the paperwork and arrangements to be completed. It is a good idea to keep a pen and paper handy so you can write down any important thoughts that come to mind.

Depending upon your circumstances and the complexity of settling your loved one’s estate, this can sometimes be a slow process, so be prepared to be patient and not become overly stressed with unexpected delays.

If you require urgent assistance with financial affairs or if you are in financial trouble, you can speak to a financial counsellor by contacting your local Community Information and Referral Service or Financial Counselling Australia.

The Your Life Assist website provides free information, support and resources dealing with all aspects of post funeral arrangements, including an Australia wide Directory of organisations and businesses providing products and services.